Carp off the surface!

One of the most exciting things I’ve caught on a fly rod has to be a carp. The build up to actually hooking the fish is very intense. Actually getting the fish to feed from the surface on what looks like an empty lake as they sulk on the bottom can be electrifying. Recently Terry and I stumbled across a small lake (which never gets fished) full of smallish carp up to around 6/7lb – And the owner was nice enough to let us have the last hour until dark with our fly rods.

Recently I’ve been trying out the New Airflo  Super-Stik fly rod. It features a deep red colour and is available in many lengths and weights – I’ve got the 9′ 6″ #6/7 and have been using for all my small-water stuff, and chose it have a crack at these carp  - and im glad I did! It’s not easy casting a lump of foam – well. Putting it exactly where you want can be tough, especially in this instance as a brisk sidewind made things a little tricky, but the Super-Stik performed well and the accuracy you can get with ‘the stik’ is unrivaled in my eyes for the money. Anyway, enough about the rod and more about the fish.

We managed to blag a couple of slices of bread from the fishery owner, brand unknown, and hurled them into the pool. We threw the bread in at regular intervals creating patches of food for the fish to feed on, our thinking was that wherever they were in the lake, we would find them quicker with multiple sections of feed – and it seemed to work as the far right hand side of the lake was the first to see any action.

Distinguishing three different fish feeding at once, all were just out of reach, this called for more bread, creating a trail out into the middle of the lake was all that was needed to tempt the fish closer. Before the fish could make their way any closer I pitched a cast just above the bread trail, hoping mine would float down with the wind and be one of many piece the fish would eat.

Within 20 seconds or so a fish had locked onto the trail and was making its way towards my offering, a foam bung which I had cut down in size. Those lips appeared and gently engulfed my fly… From past experience you MUST leave a carp eat it and not strike as soon as you get any indication of a so called ‘rise’. So giving the fish a couple of seconds I struck and hooked into this magnificent looking fish I estimated around 4lbs in weight?

Kieron Jenkins Fly Fishing For Carp

Kieron Jenkins Fly Fishing For Carp

Kieron Jenkins Fly Fishing For Carp

Chew Opening Day!

Kieron Jenkins Chew Valley Rainbow Trout

First Chew trout of 2014

The past weekend saw Chew Valley open it’s doors to boat anglers for the first time in 2014, for the Saturday, I was lucky enough to secure a boat – And Friday afternoon we had the all clear that the boats were heading out after some hairy weather and strong winds.

By the time we arrived after meeting the Bristol boys at the Blue Bowl Inn for breakfast, many of the boats were already out, hidden away behind the island and in Herons bay. Following the Fleet, we headed that way ourselves and setup the first drift at the back of Herons.

With the usual ‘early season fishing’ in mind, I tackled up with a new fly line I got over the winter, the Airflo Sixth Sense Competitor line Di5/di7, these have been available for a while but I have never had one until now. The line has a sinking rate of 7 inches per second at the head and a 5 inch per second running line, forcing the head to sink faster than the belly.

First thing I noticed is how well it casts. It’s a VERY heavy line and is tough to aerealise, but by using the weight to shoot, just like a shooting head, the line would reach 30+ yards almost every cast. However, it was apparent that it was too heavy in Herons and hooked weed almost every cast close to the bank. As we moved out to deeper water, along nunnery and out off the point, it was working well and fishing deep was no challenge.

My cast consisted of the same flies from the week before on the Opening day at Blagdon, and an 18ft leader made up of 8lb Sightfree G3.

Terry and I fished hard through the top end of the lake without a take, until we hit Nunnery point where we both missed a fish. It was until we hit the deeper water off the point that my line locked up perfectly just a few seconds after it landed with a beautiful rainbow of around 3lbs in weight.

As you can see from the picture, the Competitor fly line features the hang markers just like the rest of the Sixth Sense range – And boy was I thankful as each time the head marker (10ft long piece in the middle of the fly line) came to the tip, the fish would take indicating they were about 6/7 feet down.

I wont tell you how Terry got on… If you’re interested, I think you better ask him yourself! (NOTE: There’s no pictures of him this time!)

Opening Day on Blagdon Water!

So March is packed with opening days on most of the major Stillwaters in the UK. The weekend just gone saw Terry and I head to the Blagdon Water for the first days boat fishing since the end of the season last year. The 15th of March was a very welcomed day in my diary this year, after taking four boats in just two weeks last season on Blagdon Water, and the introduction of petrol engines on blagdon made it all that little bit sweeter.

We arrived at the newly refurbished Seymour arms for breakfast with Dean, Gareth and a bunch of BRFFA anglers, the talk was mostly fishing and the near perfect conditions that lay awaiting outside, with a rippled Blagdon just a stonesthrow away.

It was 9am before we left the Seymour arms and headed to the lake; cars were already parking outside of the gate! After parking up and paying for our boat, we set up our fishing equipment on the boat whilst headed to the north shore for our very first drift.

By now the sun was high and the wind slightly stronger, personally I opted for the Airflo 40+ Di 7 for three reasons. 1) The 40+ gives you the added advantage when throwing a longer line, although it’s not something I do every cast when using a 40+, the added few yards are a massive bonus when there are loads of bank anglers around and getting a drift within 50 yards of the bank is tough. The longer fly line lets you cast that little bit closer. 2) The wind, which was growing in strength, means that you catch up to your sinking line very quickly whilst drifting, and being a competition angler, it’s a rule not to let it go behind the boat. The (Di 3/5/7) 40+ fly lines have an intermediate running line and a faster sinking head so the depth of the line is kept a long way from the boat meaning you have plenty of line for the time to sink away from the boat, before the retrieve of the head. 3) The angle. I love the Angle of 40+ lines for fishing the hang. The almost vertical retrieve path of the Di 7 allows you to fish the hang much better than any other line on the market.

Flies wise I set up with the same cast as last year, a sunburst booby on the top dropper with a pink and orange booby on the point. A simple two fly setup on 8lb Airflo G3.

My first cast produced a beautiful rainbow of around three and a half pounds in weight, a fish that looked to be overwintered, or stocked early this year at least. As we continued our drift down the north Shore, in and out of bank anglers, all of which were catching fish (!), Terry and I netted over 20 fish.

Kieron Jenkins Blagdon Rainbow

As the day wore on we made our way around many of the usual haunts that we like to fish on Blagdon. We found fish at almost every mark, with the largest concentration of fish being in butcombe bay. Other anglers were taking fish on buzzers and nymphs whilst Terry and I stuck to the middle of the bay, the only section we could get a decent drift due to anchored boats, and took many more fish, loosing count after the first drift through! Right at the end of the day Terry managed to reach a milestone in his lake career and I slipped the net under his first every pike!

Terry Bromwell First Pike

Happy Trout Season

Hurra! The trout season is officially upon us here in South Wales. It’s this time of year I’ve been looking froward to for so long, time to get back in the boat and don the waders to hit the upper Taff and Ebbw. This time of year has seemed so long away with the never ending bad weather we’ve been experiencing, but the fly boxes are full and my enthusiasm is fueled ready for another (hopefully) great year.

Here’s a roundup in pictures of the highlights from my 2013 trout season.

Kieron and Gavin River Taff

Kieron Jenkins Welsh Rivers Champ

Kieron Jenkins Taff Brown Trout

Kieron Jenkins Taff Brown Trout

Kieron Jenkins Taff Brown Trout

Nick 6lb 2oz Brown Trout

Fulling Mill Flies Early Season Trout

ronsfishing-rutland-rainbow

Top Team Wales

Top Rod Terry Bromwell

Kieron Jenkins with a Fish Blagdon

Terry Bromwell Fishing Blagdon

Terry with a lump from Draycote

Terry Bromwell First Draycote Trout

Kieron Jenkins Draycote Rainbow

DSCN0748

Ronsfishing tiger trout

Kieron Jenkins with the New Super-Stik

Kieron Jenkins with Big Rainbow

Kieron Jenkins Big Rainbow

A hard Farmoor

It’s not very often you head to Farmoor and see posted on the wall that there was just ONE fish caught between 4 anglers from the bank the day before. The boat statistics were better though, with 70 odd fish caught, but with the weather taking a turn for the worst, the ranger called and canceled our boat we had booked just as we were arriving. Not feeling the need to turn around and go home, Dean and I thought it would be better to jump on the bank and try our hand.

They weren’t wrong! The fishing was tough, the water had seemed to have risen to maximum capacity and with so much fresh water being pumped in the fishing tends to die off for a few days until the fish get used to the temperature of the new water and move in closer to the banks.

Each cast Dean and I made from the bank, our flies would get completely engulfed in weed, so it seemed with the water being so low for spell and no frosts to kill the week back, it thrived and grew at a very specific distance out. Now the water was higher, the weed bank was further from the shoreline than we anticipated, keeping the food out beyond most peoples range and only a BIG cast would reach the other side and put your flies anywhere near the fish. Fortunately I managed to get 4 good casts in throughout the day and nailed a fish each time. I finished up with four and lost another two at extreme range.

Each fish took the Fenton Cat Booby on a 15ft leader.

Farmoor fly fishing video here:

Ellerdine Lakes

Ellerdine Lakes are somewhere I’ve never fished before, I don’t do that much small-water fishing other than when the rivers are out of condition throughout the winter. The trout season for me is packed with lake competitions and also river comps the last few years – being lucky enough to qualify for the rivers team – So my spare time is spent practicing on these waters rather than branching out and hitting small-waters.

I said this winter that I would certainly try and fish more of these small-water venues, considering most are now offering catch and release.

So, Ellerdine? After picking up Terry and Dean we made the two hour journey from south Wales to Shropshire and were greeted by Edd the fishery owner and Stuart Smitham. Breakfast was served, some fishing tackle items bought in the onsite shop, and we set out onto the lake for some fishy therapy.

I won’t divulge too much into the day, but we caught plenty of fish on a variety of methods – Here’s a short video I made fishing ‘Lakemoore’ – an Airflo 40+ Fast Glass and one of my Krystal Strangle Cats.

Fishing on the River Taff

At last! The river Taff has dropped enough to get in a few of the bigger pools to wet a line… It’s been well over a month since we’ve been able to flick a fly on the Taff, with some of the highest water levels ever recorded, so Terry, Tony and I took the opportunity to get out and hopefully catch some fish.

I arrived at Pontypridd at approximately 10.30am, Terry and Tony were both threading their lines through their fly rods so I had to rush to get my kit on to get to the river at the same time

The river was still fairly high, possibly too high for the rest of the areas we fish, but the junction pool provided some great shallows and creases to fish. I set up with my new Greys XF2+ and the Super-Dri Mend which I’ve been testing.

I know I push the Super-Dri fly lines a hell of a lot, and it’s not just because I work for Airflo. If I find a product I like, I tell people about it, and recently, I’ve noticed advantages of the Airflo Super-Dri lines more than ever whether I’m fishing the indicator on a lake or the Trio on a river, where mending and line lift is paramount.

Fishing the Trio is easier than any method as long as you keep the drag away from the indicator. I like to continuously mend the fly line to get the best drift as I can, letting more line drift free from the tip of the rod also, this gives a much longer drift and more chances of coming across fish. The idea of the Trio is to suspend your flies at a certain depth, say 3ft, and drift them for as long as possible. This is where I believe the Super-Dri Mend comes into it’s own.

Here’s a quick video of me fishing the video the Trio the way I like too, and a bonus fish too! Dont forget to toggle the quality! 1080HD is best – you can see the indicator on the surface and going under when the fish takes…

Some Serious Grayling

Over the last few weekends the water in all of our rivers have been perfect, low, clear and with a slight chill in the air. The perfect Grayling weather in my eyes! At the moment the Taff Grayling don’t seem to be shoaled up like they have been in recent years, but finding them isn’t a problem. Once you get into a run where they are feeding, there’s plenty to be caught.

We have a team get together around two weeks ago and the Welsh rivers team headed to the bottom of the Ospreys water, near Treforest. The river was in a fine state, clear and low, so after a quick chat we setup and hit the river. Two boys headed downstream, one upstream and the rest of us jumped into the main run. It wasn’t long before the Welsh angler of the year, Terry Bromwell, hooked into a small grayling Czech nymphing. We fished together for a few minutes talking about flies and leader until I made my way upstream into the head of the run.

The sun was low and hardly broke the treeline leaving us shaded for the whole three hours we fished. It was tough going until I landed on a pod near the back end of the run, the fished pushed lower than what I could cast, but I managed to get into them using the trio. An olive nymph which I’ve been working on fished well, taking most of the fish with the biggest i estimated over a pound and a half.

Ronsfishing Taff Grayling

I planned through the summer to do more grayling trips further afield, somewhere different from the usual Taff or Rhymney. I don’t know what you guys are like but sometimes I get complacent with a water I fish regularly – heading to the same pools, fishing the same methods and so, so somewhere different usually pressures me in to fishing the water I have and changing where needs be to get that fish. When I have a trial coming up I don’t spend that much time on the water im fishing for this very reason. I like to practice a water other than where I am, so I don’t make those mistakes again.

Back to the fishing: Unfortunately, I can’t name the river or section of water I fished recently due to the number of people fishing the section. I’ve been asked to keep it ‘hush hush’ and am happy to do that for this reason. Most waters are getting hammered and finding some quiet sections of river are tough.

The fishing isn’t usually that great on this section of river and getting a couple of fish to hand through the day is a good effort. After fishing a pool behind two other anglers, I’d hooked and managed to loose three fish. One grayling and two lively trout. A good start, except for the bad angling. I moved upstream and spotted a small section of water which Dean had missed, dropped the fly in and the indicator shot under, a lively grayling around the pound mark.

I looked upstream and could see Dean under the bridge and after a few chucks we met up for a chat. He had no grayling but a lovely brace of brown trout, on the same cast! The fishing was as tough as we expected but we soldiered on.

Moving upstream we come to a deepish glide which looked to drop off into the abyss along a tree line. We both jumped into the pool and caught a fish each fairly quickly. Both around a pound and a quarter. As Kibs pushed on upstream I took another decent grayling. All on the olive grub.

Ronsfishing Big Grayling

Ronsfishing Big Grayling

We had some banter about him missing the main pod of fish, ‘left them for you‘ he shouted. As I dropped the flies onto the water the indicator shot away again, and this time, a fish which I wouldn’t like to leave for anyone! After a decent scrap and some solid head shakes a beautiful 54cm grayling graced the landing net. A fish which I’ll remember for a long time. We estimated it near 3lb in weight. It could have been bigger, we didn’t weight it, but such a fish shouldn’t be classed as a ‘trophy’ just a memory. A couple of snaps and off it swap.

Ronsfishing Big Grayling

Look at the stomach!

Ronsfishing Big Grayling

Ronsfishing Big Grayling

Serious grayling

Ronsfishing Big Grayling

Silly G’? Or just hungry..?

To end the day we returned to an old spot we fished years ago when we both started grayling fishing, to be rewarded with the same fish each! One that would have tipped the scales at 2lb we thought. It took basically the same fly, too!

Fly Tying Tip – Tying in Peacock Herl

Here’s a simple tip I’ve been using for years. Cliff Harvey used to run fly tying classes when I was a youngster and many of the tips I was taught stick in my mind still, this one is ideal when tying lots of diawl backs or wet flies. A simple fly tying tip which can save you lots of time re-tying flies.

Click here for more fly tying tips

A bit of Winter Stocky Bashing!

With all this extra water around here in south Wales, fishing opportunities are slim at the moment with the river being heavily flooded or lakes chocolate brown from the run off. I had the nod that a small lake I frequently fished when I was a youngster was clear and full of fish, just like it was back earlier in the year.

Lewis Rumble and I headed over to take a look, the air temperature was cold and with the lake set on top of a mountain, in a hole, the sun hardly broke the surface of the trees and the temp stayed around 4/5 degrees all day!

I set up with a fast intermediate fly line and a black and green lure, what more do you need for winter rainbows, I ask? Lewis opted for a floating line and a hold head daddy pattern. I chose a length of leader around 18 feet long. This length of leader with a weighted fly can be tough to turn over, especially with a head wind, but on an dead flt calm autumn morning this was ideal. The long length of leader keeps the fly away from the fly line, giving plenty of chance for the line to pass away from any fish before pulling the fly through, the only disadvantage I found was your fly can sink a bit too deep! So keep a keen eye on your fly choice. Another thing I like to do on small waters, especially those that are heavily fished, is use an intermediate line, anything that cuts through the surface. All you have to do is look around a small water fishery and most fishermen use floating lines. Im a strong believer that when a fly is pulled on floating line the ‘wake’ from the fly line on the surface can put fish off, and also make them aware that the fly following it may be dangerous. The sinking line doesn’t cause any disturbance like this and you can usually get a couple more fish on the bank before they become to weary!

Kieron Jenkins Ronsfishing Lure Box

Almost instantly I hooked into a fish which threw the hook, a good start for such a cold morning. It wasn’t long before the line locked up again and a decent fish of around one and a half pounds graced the bank. With the low temperatures and hidden sun the fishing stayed fairly constant all day with no real flurry of action. I managed to net eleven fighting fit trout with five of them fully finned and with bloom in their tail. Black and green was the favourite pattern, with a hot head cat taking a few fish later on in the day. 

Kieron Jenkins Ronsfishing stocky

Kieron Jenkins Ronsfishing